In an awe-inspiring display, Justin Gaethje exacted his vengeance and secured the ‘BMF’ title, after unleashing a brutal head kick that ended Dustin Poirier’s night in the main event of UFC 291. It was a knockout that arguably stood as the highlight of the year.
Gaethje, who was bested by Poirier in a bout five years prior, swore to bring a renewed version of himself into the Octagon on Saturday. True to his word, Gaethje demonstrated a level of restraint and strategy, refraining from being sucked into a toe-to-toe brawl with Poirier.
The opening round saw a fair amount of back-and-forth, leading to Gaethje luring Poirier with his punches in the second round. This set the stage for the decisive head kick. Once his shin made contact, Poirier hit the floor, and Gaethje landed one final punch before referee Herb Dean rushed to stop the fight and prevent further harm.
Gaethje was officially declared the winner one minute into the second round, and the ‘BMF’ title was bestowed upon him by Jorge Masvidal.
“Unlike other sports, redemption is hard to come by,” Gaethje reflected post-fight. “A loss eats at us and we rarely get the opportunity to make amends. So to return, to vindicate myself – I’ve always had faith in myself, and I’ve always admired Dustin as a fighter. Luck and chance play their part in the Octagon, and I’m just grateful I was on the winning side this time.
“When you compare the two fights, it’s like night and day. It was a hard-earned lesson, but I’m grateful to him for teaching it to me.”
As the fight started, Gaethje demonstrated improved patience, setting up leg kicks and retaliating with potent punches. Just when Gaethje seemed to be gaining ground, Poirier landed a powerful straight punch that left a cut over his left eye.
Quick to recover, Gaethje ramped up his leg kicks as Poirier retaliated with fast, powerful hand combinations.
The first five-minute round was close, but Gaethje appeared to grow in confidence, demonstrating a balanced attack and resisting any temptation to abandon strategy for all-out brawling, a mistake he often made earlier in his UFC career.
On the restart, Gaethje amped up his aggression but quickly noted Poirier’s counter setup, which inspired him to try for the head kick. Having attempted a similar kick in the first round without proper setup, allowing Poirier to block, Gaethje corrected his strategy. He tricked Poirier with a feigned punch, drawing a counter from Poirier, and then unleashed a devastating head kick that floored Poirier. This was Poirier’s first knockout loss since 2016 against Michael Johnson. Meanwhile, Gaethje recorded his eighth UFC victory, with a 3-1 record in his last four matches.
Gaethje announced his ambition, “I want to fight for the world championship. These guys are fighting in October. I’m going to prove I’m the best in the world.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Justin Gaethje UFC 291 Victory
Who won the main event at UFC 291?
Justin Gaethje won the main event at UFC 291, scoring a vicious head kick knockout against Dustin Poirier to claim the ‘BMF’ title.
What did Justin Gaethje achieve with his win at UFC 291?
With his victory at UFC 291, Justin Gaethje not only avenged a previous defeat to Dustin Poirier but also won the ‘BMF’ title.
What was the outcome of Justin Gaethje’s previous fight with Dustin Poirier?
Five years prior to UFC 291, Dustin Poirier had defeated Justin Gaethje in their previous encounter. However, Gaethje redeemed himself with a knockout victory at UFC 291.
What strategy did Justin Gaethje use in his rematch with Dustin Poirier at UFC 291?
In the rematch with Poirier at UFC 291, Gaethje showed improved patience, set up his leg kicks strategically, and avoided getting lured into a toe-to-toe brawl. This strategy led to his successful execution of a knockout head kick.
What is Justin Gaethje’s future aspiration after winning the ‘BMF’ title at UFC 291?
Following his ‘BMF’ title victory at UFC 291, Justin Gaethje expressed his desire to fight for the world championship next, aiming to prove that he’s the best in the world.